GIS Assists in Sex Offender Relocation


In Illinois, state law prevents a sex offender from living within 500
feet of a school, park, playground, or any other facility that provides
recreation or other services to children. When a sex offender moves
into a new community, they are required by law to register with their
local law enforcement agency. This includes providing their address of
their place of residence. The local police must determine whether or
not the sex offender’s address is within 500 feet of a restricted area.
We determined that the most efficient way to accomplish this was by
utilizing GIS.

Using GIS, the offender’s parcel was highlighted along with all the
other restricted areas within the community. A 500 foot buffer was
created from the offender’s parcel boundary and then overlaid to compare
with the restricted areas. In this case, the property was within 500
feet of a park, so the police officer must notify the offender that a
new place of residence is needed. Once a new residence is notified to
the authorities, this same process will occur all over again. This
method is a quick and efficient way of handling the problem, being that
it is uses an accurate measurement and it saves time and money by
avoiding unnecessary field work.